Everybody wants their own personal Cheers, and I now have a weekly spot to frequent. It wasn’t going to take a lot to convince me to like this place. The love for Irish pubs was already in my bones with my heritage, as I have the solid Scotch-Irish last name, Ritchie (once MacRitchie, part of the Mackintosh clan).
When I asked around for fun places to go in Jacksonville, Kickbacks wasn’t the only rumored watering hole mentioned. Different friends from different walks of life whispered Lynch’s, the Jax beach bar, is the place to go. Like a secret spell from a four leaf clover, the idea was planted, and my parents and I happened to feel the beachside draw of this place when they visited for Thanksgiving.
Wooden Tables and Cozy Cluttered Walls
We wandered in in the light of day and felt right at home, thinking of Orlando’s Fiddler’s Green. My parents, fans of the radio program Thistles and Shamrocks surveyed the open space and quickly approved. Heavy beams covered the ceiling and a large wooden bar jutted out to the middle of the place. I giggled at the the We Are Hiring Irish Need Not Apply sign. Then we got comfortable in booth benches. Once I saw the malt vinegar was there, I was ready for business.
I got the Shepherd’s pie, because that were the real Irish pub fans start. The next step is fish and ships and bangers and mash, depending on the evening’s special. I jumped in and ordered a local beer sampler, despite the fact that I was recovering from a bad cold and should’ve skipped the booze altogether. The Green Door beer was tasty. My dad ordered either a Sam Adams or Killian’s, some sorta basic beer considering their offerings. Our server was friendly and our meal was pleasant. We peered up that the ceiling cluttered with hanging dollar beers and felt fully convinced that this place held stories.
Dollar Bills and Trivia Thrills
Since that November afternoon, I have returned to this place multiple times. I discovered a few things:
- On weekend late nights, the place is madness, full of smoke, loud music and excitement.
- Following some mysterious shenanigans, the dollar bills were removed from the ceiling for being a fire hazard and promptly donated to the fire department. Very suspicious.
- The bar has trivia every week.
I’ve joined the unstoppable trivia team Smarter Than A Fourth Grader to keep frequenting this bar (and hopefully start sampling their whiskey!). We’re working our way through the menu offerings and winning trivia here and there while we’re at it.
The trivia night is just the right amount of part-way filling the bar, so we can still hear each other speak but have a bit of competition. The hosts are friendly and happy to repeat a question if you missed it with dinner conversation. The hosts and my team are also die hards, meeting even on the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.
The Corn Beef Hash Out
So a little bit about the food. The first week I came for trivia, my teammate was unsure what to order. She’d tried corned beef and cabbage the previous week and been pretty disappointed. She sent it back with it not being cooked enough and some other dish concerns. The server (I think Brittney) was super awesome and did what she could to resolve the situation. Well, the next week the server said there was a different cook and it might be better. Unfortunately this was not the case. My trivia-mate was again let down.
However, I ordered a spicy burger and it was PERFECT. Accompanied with big french fries that I doused in vinegar and dipped in mustard (my weird combo!), it made a delightful meal. And placing second place in trivia – complete with reindeer names and christmas carol questions – made the night for me.
I also glimpsed the fish and chips which was a huge meal with a giant fried fish of deliciousness. If only they had that as a Wednesday night special. Not that I’m complaining about the $10 Beer and Burger deal.
I look forward to more nights of trivia as well as checking out this local band that plays rock covers and is supposed to be a lot of fun and have a local following.